Despite Economy, Employees are Struggling with Debt

The proven solution? Knowledge of Financial Education

Last month, the world’s second-largest professional services company released a first-class study about employees’ financial health.

PricewaterhouseCoopers – ranked just behind Deloitte as one of the Big Four auditors – conducts this study each year. For 2018, PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey had some scary details, despite a robust economy…Employees looking for financial help need Knowledge of Financial Education

  • 54 percent of employees “are stressed about their finances.”
  • 42 percent say they’ll probably “need to use money held in retirement plans for expenses other than retirement.”
  • “More than half of all employees want to make their own financial decisions but are looking to have someone validate that decision.”

What does this mean? Nothing good.

“A good economy can’t cover up bad habits,” says Beatriz Hartman of KOFE, one of the nation’s most cutting-edge employee financial wellness originations. “Employees who are mired in debt usually got there because they don’t know the best practices for responsible spending and powerful saving.”

Where will employees learn these skills? The best place seems to be the workplace. Programs like KOFE – which stands for Knowledge of Financial Education – have provided training for years. The biggest lessons…

  1. Proven methods for conquering debt
  2. How to build credit fast
  3. How to set up a budget
  4. The quickest way to save for a home
  5. How to set – and meet retirement savings goals

Why do employers offer programs like KOFE? Because a financially secure employee is a more productive employee.

“Our clients save more than they spend,” Hartman says. “I’ve heard stories of employees who are so distracted by their financial strife at home, they literally can’t get their work done. But it’s not as simple as tossing those employees a textbook on financial literacy.”

The problem, Hartman says, isn’t that employees don’t want to learn about financial responsibility. They just don’t have the spare time and emotional bandwidth to do so.

“At KOFE, we spent a lot of time studying the best ways to teach busy employees how to manage their money,” she says. “When we partner with a credit union or employer, we set up an educational portal through their own website – which employees are accustomed to using. We offer interactive courses they can take to educate themselves on specific topics.”

Those topics – from credit cards to credit scores and everything in between – are presented with graphics and videos, as well as checklists written in plain English. Why the multimedia approach?

“Different people learn in different ways,” Harman says. “Some are visual, so videos reach them. Some are auditory learners, so a podcast is perfect. Others just want to read a story quietly without distraction. Others need some level of interactivity before things click.”

But serious employee education doesn’t stop there, Hartman says.

“We also have trained coaches who work one-on-one with credit unions to provide additional support,” she says. “Sometimes, even the best, animated videos can’t replace a live, sympathetic, human voice.”

Press Inquiries

April Lewis-Parks
Director of Education and Public Relations

AParks@consolidatedcredit.org
1-800-728-3632 x 9344